Imagine waiting for a plane in a terminal that features flat-screen TVs, custom lounges, massage therapists and even a swimming pool. That's the new terminal currently being built at New York's JFK International Airport. Unfortunately for human travelers, it's only for animals.
Named the ARK, the new terminal is designed to be the only privately owned animal terminal in the world. It expects to provide full-service quarantine facilities for horses, livestock, pets and birds being imported into and exported from the United States. With a long-term plan in place, the ARK has a 30-year lease with the Port Authority and is fully approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
With 178,000 square feet available to take care of the traveling animals, the ARK is a significant upgrade from the Vetport, a private shelter that has been handling animal services until now. JFK Airport's Cargo Building 78 has sat vacant for about 10 years, and the ARK is taking it over.
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Specific facilities are being designed for different types of animals. For instance, cats can expect to have trees and jungle gyms to climb. Dogs have a pool in which to play, grooming facilities, pet massage and obedience training available. Goats, pigs and sheep each get their own holding areas. Even exotic animals such as penguins have designated areas.
Large animals have their own facilities. For horses, that means climate-controlled stalls with natural light. In addition, a full veterinary hospital is on site to provide emergency care, surgery and general veterinary care.
Boarding a dog at the pet resort is expected to cost $100 per night. Prices for other animals aren't yet set.
Luxury suites at JFK aren't the only stop for animals taking to the skies. Check out this story about pilots devoting their own time and airplane fuel to rescue animals around the country.
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